ST. PAUL, Minn. (KEYC) — The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is promoting safe driving this holiday season as the agency released updated crash numbers Tuesday.
The agency reports there were 29 crashes across Minnesota in November, resulting in 30 deaths.
November’s totals bring Minnesota to 364 total traffic deaths in 2020, matching the amount set in 2019.
”With fewer vehicles on the road during the 2020 pandemic, the loss of life on Minnesota roads is beyond disappointing; it is tragic and completely preventable. While most Minnesotans are driving smart, there are a number of people who have used the lighter traffic as a license to disobey laws,” stated Mike Hanson, director of the Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety. “The rising number of speed violations and the decline in seat belt usage from 2019 to 2020 cannot be ignored. We grieve with all of those experiencing an empty chair at the table for the holidays and we beg each and every one of you to start understanding the consequences of dangerous driving behaviors.”
Authorities say that 72% of the 364 fatalities in 2020 are males.
The 364 fatalities in 2020 include:
- 314 motor vehicle occupants compared with 339 reported this time last year;
- 63 motorcyclists compared with 44 reported this time last year;
- 40 pedestrians compared with 43 reported this time last year;
- 10 bicyclists compared with 10 reported this time last year;
- 107 are speed-related compared with 68 this time last year;
- 97 are alcohol-related compared with 103 this time last year;
- 29 are distracted-related compared with 27 this time last year; and
- 92 fatalities involved an unbelted motorist compared with 66 this time last year;
”There are names behind the 364 traffic deaths. They are loved ones; individuals who never made it home while traveling on our roads. Troopers know all too well how preventable these deaths are,” Minnesota State Patrol Chief Matt Langer added. “By buckling up, slowing down, putting the distractions away and line up a sober ride, we can significantly reduce fatalities on our roads.”
DPS officials also say they made 267 DWI arrests during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has added a slow scroll to its website that contains the names of those who died in traffic fatalities this year to remind Minnesotans of friends and family members who won’t be home for the holidays. The agency hopes it serves as a reminder to Minnesotans to drive smart this holiday season.